Metadata for Greater Sage-grouse Core Areas
Identification Information:
Originator: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Title: Greater Sage-grouse Core Areas
Edition: 1.1
Publication place: Helena, MT
Publisher: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Online linkage:
Browse graphic file name:
Browse graphic file description: Map of sage-grouse core areas in Montana.
Browse graphic file type: JPEG

Sage-grouse core areas are habitats associated with 1) Montana's highest densities of sage-grouse (25% quartile), based on male counts and/or 2) sage-grouse lek complexes and associated habitat important to sage-grouse distribution.
The data are intended for display of sage grouse core areas in Montana. The data are intended for initial resource review and conservation planning. For evaluating or reviewing site specific applications Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) recommends contacting the appropriate FWP Regional office.

Time period of content:
Calendar date: 04/01/2010
Currentness reference: publication date
Progress: Complete
Maintenance and update frequency: As needed
Access constraints: None
Use constraints:
Users must assume responsibility to determine the usability of this data for their purposes. This data set is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) makes no representations or warranties whatsoever with respect to the accuracy or completeness of this data set and assumes no responsibility for the suitability of this data set for a particular purpose. FWP will not be liable for any damages incurred as a result of errors in this data set.
Point of contact:
Lydia Bailey
GIS Manager
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
1420 E. 6th Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

Telephone: 406-444-5365

Data set credit:
This data would not be available in spatial format without the cooperation of the wildlife biologists of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and Bureau of Land Management.
Security information:
Security classification: Unclassified
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Data Quality Information:
Attribute accuracy report:
Good - based on input and review by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wildlife biologists.


Process step:
Displaying Male Density Determined: 1) Identifying Highest Density: Two different point density estimation methods (noted below) were used to identify the highest densities of displaying male sage-grouse based upon lek locations. Both techniques identified the same lek complexes as having the highest densities at the 25% quartile.
a. Audubon (K. Doherty) used a 6440m circular neighborhood analysis (Spatial Analyst Tools ArcGIS 9.2) at 1km grid cell size. The maximum male count available between 2005-2007 was used to evaluate male density. The resulting surface was randomly sampled using 50,000 points to determine the quartile breakpoints.
b. MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks used a Fixed Kernel Density Estimator (Hawths Tools -ArcGIS 9.2) with a bivariate normal kernel and a smoothing factor of 10, 000 at a 500m cell size. The kernel was weighted based upon the average of the highest male count for each year from 1998-2008. The quartile boundaries are provided by the program.
Process date: 08/01/2008
Process step:
Focus Area: Lek complexes and associated habitats, typically within a 10 km search radius of leks in the complex, defined the outside boundaries of this analysis. In some instances, habitat associated with a core lek complex may have extended beyond 10 km. Overlaying documented seasonal habitats connected to and extending beyond these areas and manual editing were necessary to incorporate these exceptions.
Process date: 08/01/2008
Process step:
Habitat Suitability Analysis: For the purposes of this analysis, unsuitable habitats and suitable habitats within or adjacent to core areas were generally defined as follows:

a. Unsuitable Habitat
·Cultivated row-crop parcels > 600 acres
·Areas where 75% or more of the surrounding 1000 acres are cultivated land*
·Areas where 20% or more of the surrounding 1000 acres are forested habitat*
·Areas where 75% or more of the surrounding 1000 acres exceeded a terrain ruggedness threshold of 13.** Note: This criteria was not included for intermountain valleys of southwestern Montana because of the unique topographic features and demonstrated habitat use by sage-grouse

* Landcover values were obtained from the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD). Analyses were based upon a 30m grid cell. Percentages are based on a 2 km X 2 km search window (1,000 acres).
** Terrain ruggedness is the standard deviation of elevation surrounding an area based upon a 30m grid cell. The threshold was chosen based on 95% of leks having a value of 13 or lower.

b. Suitable Habitat
·Areas where 75% or more of the surrounding 1000 acres had a 10% or greater probability of supporting a sage-grouse lek.
1.The majority of core area boundaries were based upon this delineation.
2.The probability used is based upon a habitat suitability model that used lek locations to identify suitable habitat. This model was produced by the MT Natural Heritage Program and is documented at ( ).
Process date: 09/01/2008
Process step:
Field biologists from FWP and BLM reviewed printed maps showing the habitat parameters described above to identify outer boundaries of core areas and determined general accuracy of designated non-habitats. Printed maps were at a scale of 1:200,000.
Process date: 10/01/2008
Process step:
Based upon those biologists expert opinion, refinements were made to the core area boundaries. This allowed for inclusion of nesting and brood rearing areas not captured by the lek driven model.
Process date: 10/01/2008
Process step:
Telemetry data was utilized to refine core area boundaries in southwestern Powder River and southeastern Bighorn counties and Beaverhead and Madison Counties to help refine mapping of Core habitats in these areas. Data from Powder River and Bighorn counties was obtained from research done by Dr. Dave Naugle, University of Montana. Data from Beaverhead and Madison counties was obtained from research done by the BLM.
Process date: 10/01/2008
Process step:
The mapped habitat, refinements based upon biological expert opinion and integration of existing research data were incorporated to develop Version 1.0
Process date: 11/01/2008
Process step:
Edits were conducted in the Powder River basin to eliminate areas identified via habitat association, but not currently supporting Sage-grouse. Scott Hemmer - FWP Bio expert review.
Process date: 07/31/2009
Process step:
Areas in the Roundup area were edited to add / remove area based upon expert knowledge. Jay Newell, FWP Biologist.
Process date: 07/31/2009
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Spatial Data Organization Information:
Point and vector object information:
ESRI feature type: Polygon
ESRI feature count: 19
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Spatial Reference Information:
Horizontal coordinate system definition:
Projected coordinate system name: NAD_1983_StatePlane_Montana_FIPS_2500
Grid coordinate system name: State Plane Coordinate System 1983
SPCS zone identifier: 2500
Lambert conformal conic:
Standard parallel: 45.000000
Standard parallel: 49.000000
Longitude of central meridian: -109.500000
Latitude of projection origin: 44.250000
False easting: 600000.000000
False northing: 0.000000
Planar distance units: meters
Geodetic model:
Horizontal datum name: North American Datum of 1983
Ellipsoid name: Geodetic Reference System 80
Semi-major axis: 6378137.000000
Denominator of flattening ratio: 298.257222
Altitude system definition:
Altitude resolution: 0.000010
Altitude encoding method:
Explicit elevation coordinate included with horizontal coordinates
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Entity and Attribute Information:
Entity type label:
Entity count: 19

Attribute label: FID
Attribute definition: Internal feature number.
Attribute domain:
Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.

Attribute label: Shape
Attribute definition: Feature geometry.
Attribute domain: Coordinates defining the features.

Attribute label: Shape_Area
Attribute definition: Area of feature in internal units squared.
Attribute domain: Positive real numbers that are automatically generated.

Attribute label: Shape_Leng

Attribute label: ACRES
Attribute definition: Area in acres.
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Distribution Information:
Lydia Bailey
GIS Manager
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
1420 East 6th Ave
Helena, MT 59620-0701

Telephone: 406-444-5365

Resource description: Downloadable Data

Standard order process:
Digital form:
Format name: ESRI Shapefile
File decompression technique: WinZip
Transfer size: 0.045
Online option:
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Metadata Reference Information:
Metadata date: 04/01/2010
Metadata contact:
Adam Messer
GIS Analyst
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
1420 East 6th Ave
Helena, MT 59620-0701

Telephone: 406-444-0095

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